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When Do Juries Second-Guess Auditor Judgment? The Effects of Accounting Rule Precision and Norms

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Abstract:

Two experiments examine how the level of precision in accounting rules influences jury verdicts against auditors. In Experiment 1, we find that jurors rarely find an auditor negligent when the auditor approves accounting that meets a well-defined rule. This same auditor behavior results in a significant number of verdicts against the auditor if the accounting rule is imprecise – but only when the client’s accounting differs from industry norms. Experiment 2 shows opposite effects of rule precision when the auditor approves accounting that explicitly violates a well-defined rule. Our results suggest that juries rely on simple hierarchical decision rules.
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Association:
Name: American Psychology - Law Society
URL:
http://www.ap-ls.org/


Citation:
URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p399071_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Mercer, Molly. and Kadous, Kathryn. "When Do Juries Second-Guess Auditor Judgment? The Effects of Accounting Rule Precision and Norms" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Psychology - Law Society, Westin Bayshore Hotel, Vancouver, BC, Canada, Mar 18, 2010 <Not Available>. 2014-11-28 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p399071_index.html>

APA Citation:

Mercer, M. and Kadous, K. , 2010-03-18 "When Do Juries Second-Guess Auditor Judgment? The Effects of Accounting Rule Precision and Norms" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Psychology - Law Society, Westin Bayshore Hotel, Vancouver, BC, Canada <Not Available>. 2014-11-28 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p399071_index.html

Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: Two experiments examine how the level of precision in accounting rules influences jury verdicts against auditors. In Experiment 1, we find that jurors rarely find an auditor negligent when the auditor approves accounting that meets a well-defined rule. This same auditor behavior results in a significant number of verdicts against the auditor if the accounting rule is imprecise – but only when the client’s accounting differs from industry norms. Experiment 2 shows opposite effects of rule precision when the auditor approves accounting that explicitly violates a well-defined rule. Our results suggest that juries rely on simple hierarchical decision rules.


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